Friday, July 22, 2011

Bridesmaids


Right!  Who's seen this movie and wants to talk about it?  I saw it last night with Maree and Melinda.

I wanted to see it last week but then I fell foul of a vicious tummy bug   It was probably just as well I didn't go then because SPOILER ALERT!!  there's lots of spewing and diarrhoea in this movie which is tough enough to watch in reality, let alone on the big screen. I must give a high five to the makeup artist before I forget....those girls looked really sick (and not in the way you young folk mean Caspar!)

Should you go and see it?  Well yes, so we can talk about it silly.  But don't take your mother or your grandmother because they're likely to be grossly offended and walk out.  I have been ruminating all night trying to come up with a clever summary or logline - like "It's Borat meets My Best Friend's Wedding" - but part of the movie's problem is it is hard to define.  It sure does divide its audience - they seem to love it or hate it.  I of course, as usual, fall right in the middle.  I hate being a fence sitter - apart from anything it's mighty uncomfortable.  That reminds me of a funny scene in the movie....

There were some really knockout performances in this movie and some really great casting. I am now a devoted fan of Maya Rudolph who plays the part of Lillian who gets lucky and is about to be married.  This woman seems to just glow and shine like no other.  She is not typical Hollywood material by any stretch of the imagination.  She is not conventionally beautiful but she radiates empathy and humanity and I was captivated by her.   She's Gwyneth Paltrow's childhood friend apparently - lucky Gwyneth.  

Kristen Wiig  gives a fabulous portrayal of the deeply complex and flawed lead, Annie,  for whom we can't help but feel sympathy. Annie is Lillian's besty and wrestling with the dubious honour of being crowned Maid of Honour. 

Australia's own Rose Byrne is a stunner as the interloping new besty and bridesmaid with designs on the role of Maid of Honour, Helen.  There is a raft of bridesmaids to absorb, including another Australian -  Rebel Wilson as Brynn,  Ellie Kemper who plays Becca (just delightful to watch) and the extraordinary Melissa McCarthy who plays the mega bridesmaid, Megan (yes, bad pun I know).  Was anybody else disturbed by how much Melissa resembles Ricky Gervais ?  

There's not much eye candy for the girls though - Michael Hitchcock does nothing for me and Chris O'Dowd, who is a kind of thinking girl's boyfriend, seemed uncomfortable with his role - at one stage I was even beginning to doubt he was a police officer ! 

I did laugh out loud in many places.  There are so many good scenes and so many good lines....."Why can't you be happy for me and then go home and talk about me behind my back like a normal person?" is one of my particular favourites from Lillian.

But there were too many just plain uncomfortable scenes which didn't work that spoiled my enthusiasm. I walked out feeling that I had seen about five pilots for sit-coms jammed into one movie.  Matt Lucas from Little Britain plays the part of an extremely oddball and funny flatmate for  Annie (Kristen Wiig) and  these scenes are typical of the ones that jar.  It is as if the cast is too big for the movie.  At 125mins I  feel it could have done with some judicious editing.

The director, Paul Fieg is new to me and I think I'm correct in saying that this is his first feature.  Interestingly his television credits include The Office (US version) and Arrested Development.  I was also interested to read that he always wears a suit and tie when he directs. Right.  A man of style.  Paul does a lot of acting (he's got more credits for that on IMDB than anything else) and you can catch him as the Dad in the carwash in Bad Teacher which debuted in Australia last night.

To be fair the movie doesn't pretend to be anything it's not....the poster screams at you that it is produced by Judd Apatow, the same chap that produced Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin and Superbad. So of course there is going to be teenage toilet humour.  Only I don't think that is meant to be the audience demographic.  I suspect most of the audience going to see this movie were probably expecting something PJ Hogan-ish or Robert Luketic-ish.  

Weddings on the big screen are the stuff of fantasy - they don't mix well with spew and well.....that other stuff.  I don't think this movie knew what it was.  Comedy is difficult.  Its success does depend largely on making us squirm and laughing at other's misfortune.  Only in this story the discomfort was too great and the tragedy too real.  This is an important story - it's about girlfriends - something too little explored on the big screen - Thelma and Louise comes to mind and that other lovely little nugget of a movie Jucy.  These worked because they were honest and I want to say modest but that sounds silly. Maybe I'm talking about that intangible quality - integrity.   Bridesmaids thought it could eat the cake and have it too.

So what do you think?  Am I right or am I right?

5 comments:

Alecia @ Tchotchkes etc. said...

if you like Maya Rudolph you have to see her in Away We Go - the most beautful movie and I just wanted to hug her the whole way through!

I must disagree with your comment that there was no eye candy for the ladies - Jon Hamm was in there! I know he played a douche, but Hamm is Hamm..

and yes the Matt Lucas scenes were a bit forced..

Luvvie said...

Good point Alecia!! He is gorgeous...but why was he uncredited I ask myself......????

Ruari Elkington said...

Hello lovely Alex!
Bridesmaids?! I dug it the most. And I once stayed at Chris O'Dowd's flat in London for the weekend...but that's another story.
Two scenes that stood out are Kristen Wiig's drunken, spite filled demolish of the bridal shower,in particular the giant cookie destruction and her wretched attempts to topple the chocolate fountain.
This was really out and out nastiness on her characters behalf (as well as being very funny).
Ugly, self serving behavior that actually lifted her character beyond the cute female lead that we were all rooting for. I wasn't rooting for her then at all, and the fact that I came back to support her is testament to well developed characterization that lifts Bridesmaids out of formulaic romcom territory.

The other scene was Wiig sitting in obvious terror on the plane about to take off and her fellow passenger stating "I had a dream this plane was going down...you were in it"

Luvvie said...

I'm with you Ruari!! There were a couple of scenes that saved other scenes. I too liked the 'meltdown'....and some of the plane stuff was very funny. I just found it inconsistent. Maybe I'm just an old fart.

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